Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre at Sidney opens Saturday June 20, 2009

    SIDNEY, BC, June 11 /CNW/ - The granddaughter of legendary ocean explorer
Jacques Cousteau will journey to Vancouver Island next weekend to celebrate
the opening of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney. Celine Cousteau will
join First Nations elders and other local dignitaries on Saturday, June 20 at
9:00 am in Beacon Park on the Sidney waterfront, for the official welcome, and
remarks by the Hon Gary Lunn, Murray Coell MLA and Mayor Larry Cross. Celine
Cousteau will address the audience as well. The inaugural ceremonies will take
place before the doors open to the public at noon Saturday.
    "We're honoured that Celine Cousteau recognizes the significance of our
Island's new aquarium and discovery centre," said Angus Matthews, executive
director. Cousteau, an adventurer and environmentalist, travels the globe
working with documentary filmmakers, promoting conservation and education,
much of it focused on the world's oceans.
    From giant octopus to microscopic plankton, the Shaw Ocean Discovery
Centre showcases marine life of the Salish Sea. Seventeen aquarium habitats
filled with 87 tonnes of seawater are home to thousands of fish,
invertebrates, and marine plants.
    "Our ocean lives here," said Matthews. "Visitors will come to understand
the marine environment on our doorstep in a new way." Reflecting Sidney's
small-town atmosphere, the centre's presentation style is "conversational,"
Matthews noted. "Oceaneers" are on hand to answer questions, aided by the
vibrant living exhibits and supplemented by video technology depicting marine
life of the Salish Sea.
    With full-time marine educators, live Internet links to undersea
websites, presentations and rotating exhibits by prominent West-Coast
scientists, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre's focus is conservation of the
Salish Sea. Educator Linda Funk says, "We have every teaching tool and
learning resource I could ever imagine in this amazing discovery centre. Our
Oceaneers will inspire visitors of all ages to explore, discover and cherish
the ocean," she said. "It's our hope that people will take from here a deeper
appreciation of issues affecting our ocean, and think about their own impact
on the local environment," said Funk, "In fact, we ask them to make a promise
to the ocean before they leave."
    Four years and $8-million in the making, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
is named for the largest donation -- $1.5-million from Shaw Communications.
The entire community has been involved, including artists, scientists,
construction workers, business people, philanthropists, many as volunteers.
The project has received support from the Canada/BC Infrastructure Fund,
family foundations and individual donors.
    In the afternoon, free public celebrations kick off in Sidney's Beacon
Park with outdoor music, performances, and exhibits of marine technology.
Admission prices for the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre are in effect on opening
day: $12.00 adults; $6.00 children 6-17, free 5 and under. Annual pass: add
$10.00 to admission. The centre's opening is the highlight of Saanich
Peninsula's Ocean Discovery Days, running from June 4 to July 4. For
celebration events and times and or telephone 250 665 7511.

For further information:

For further information: For media information, access, images contact:
Rosemarie Enslin, PR & Marketing Manager, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Tel:
(250) 655-3800, email:

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